Dream, Build, Launch a Business in 54 hours!
What is Startup Weekend?
Startup Weekends are 54-hour long events where developers, designers, marketers, product managers, startup enthusiasts come together to share ideas, build products and launch startups! Teams go from an idea scrawled on a napkin to a working prototype and maybe even paying customers, all within a single weekend. Startup Weekends are a global phenomenon with events being held in 700+ cities across the world; in New Zealand alone, events have been held in Auckland, Wellington, Tauranga, Christchurch, Queenstown, Invercargill, and of course DUNEDIN!
Why attend a Startup Weekend
Many people want to be entrepreneurs, but find it hard to commit on top of study/work/family commitments. Startup Weekends are the ideal high-impact/low-commitment vehicle for you to test both your ideas and yourself to see if entrepreneurship really is your cup of tea. Not everyone can spare 3 months, but everyone has a weekend to spare.
(For more reasons, see What do I get out of it below)
How does it work?
We begin on Friday night with open-mic pitches, where participants get 60 seconds to pitch their ideas to the crowd and try to recruit the best talent in the room! Teams form around the most exciting/viable ideas, and spend the rest of the night planning for the battle ahead. The whole of Saturday and much of Sunday) is a mad dash to build, validate, pivot, polish and test your Minimal Viable Product (MVP). The weekend culminates with a pitch-night where teams present their MVP to a panel of judges, guests and fellow participants. At the end of it all, a winner is crowned and everyone celebrates over a few casual drinks and gets a chance to network before saying goodbye!
What do I get out of it?
- You will get a taste of what it's like in the startup world, and learn a ton first hand about every step of building a startup (at the very least, it'll be a memorable weekend away from your usual daily routine).
- You might find your perfect co-founder soulmate with whom you'll go on to launch a multi-million dollar startup, be it on this weekend or down the road.
- You will get a chance to network and mingle with some of the top brass in the New Zealand entrepreneurship/investing communities - individuals that would otherwise be very hard to reach - and ask them questions to your hearts content.
- You will greatly expand your network and build lasting relationships with the most innovative, creative and motivated people in Dunedin. This could mean a new client, employer, business partner, or even a friend!
- Plus, if your team wins, you will get heaps of additional resources and mentorship to help you get your startup off the ground. There are also plenty of investors in the crowd, so if your pitches were something special, you might even get funding (it happens!).
Why do I have to pay?
The price of your ticket just about covers the cost of your food and drinks; if you work out how much six meals + free beer + unlimited coffee will cost, you could break even just by showing up and eating! On top of all the grub, all participants get heaps of exclusive goodies including free domain names, web services and more. Not to mention free coaching and guidance from some of the best mentors around. All in all, its probably the best $99 you'll ever spend.
But I'm not an entrepreneur...
You don't have to be! (and if you want to be, this is a great place to start)
At every Startup Weekend, participants come from all walks of life ranging from students to educators, bankers to doctors, even retirees! Worried you don't have the skills? Thats why we have experienced mentors here to guide you (and Startup Weekends are about learning anyway). Too young/old? We have had participants as young as 12 and as old as 70 (not kidding!), so if you fall within that range, your'e sweet!
So get off that fence, join us, and get ready for the ride of your life. #SWDUD